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Prix 1987 - 2007

ORF Oberösterreich

Phil E. Haindl

This Web project represents an homage to the perception of reality.

It raises the question of the extent, to which we all depend on empirically developed reality or what the opportunities and chances are that stubborn and naive perception offers us ... Plato's Allegory of the Cave served as a model for me, because I find it interesting in several respects.

Appropriate patterns of behavior are recommended to us human beings through education, society and conscience, which most of our naive fellow human beings gratefully accept. This ultimately led me to the question of what would happen if a person could express opinions and questions free from all considerations, conventions and adaptations...

...Thus it is/was possible, for example, to bring what has been happening in the war in Yugoslavia into an interactive discourse. Andrej Tisma, a friend of mine who lives in Novi Sad, described his daily struggle to escape the war. He told his story, how he protected his family, what he thinks about the NATO bombing - yet he did not forget to suggest other possible solutions for the Balkan problem. On the other side there was also an American who took part. He revealed his views on the solution to the conflict to the net community, whereby he also attempted to understand the Yugoslavian side. He did not know - and still does not know - that his discussion partner was someone directly affected, specifically Andrej, who was paying close attention and trying, for his part, to understand the statements of the other.

The project "safer: reality" by the 18-year-old Phil E. Haindl from Upper Austria addresses the themes of perception and anonymity on the Internet.
He has managed to set up a Web symposium revolving around the central issue of the war in Kosovo, in which representatives both from the Serbian side and the American side participate. What is extraordinary about this project is that, except for Phil, who has taken over the role of moderator, none of the participants know the identity of the other people they are communicating with. This makes it impossible for the individuals to introduce their prejudices about others into their assessment of a respective discussion partner.
Phil recognized the possibility of realizing a project of this kind on the Internet, because on the Net, everyone's anonymity is basically equal and independent of our empirically developed reality.